Nigerian diplomat found dead in Sudan capital

11 May 2018 – 06:45

The Nigerian is the second diplomat to have died in Khartoum in less than a year. Link to image.

A Nigerian diplomat has been found dead at his home in Khartoum, Nigeria’s government and Sudanese police said Thursday, with the latter investigating what it called a “criminal act”.

“An employee in the consular section of the Nigerian embassy was found dead at his home in Khartoum,” Sudanese police said in a statement.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the death was due to a criminal act and not politically motivated,” the statement added.

The Nigerian foreign ministry confirmed the death of the diplomat and described him as an “immigration attache”.

“We have to wait for a formal report from our mission detailing how it happened,” Nigerian foreign ministry spokesman Tiwatope Elias-Fatile told AFP.

“It is so sad and we are so worried about the incident. We are not happy about it.”

Reports on social media said the diplomat had been attacked with a knife, but details have not been confirmed by Sudan’s police or Nigeria’s government.

The Nigerian is the second diplomat to have died in Khartoum in less than a year.

In August, the then Russian ambassador to Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinsky, was found dead in the swimming pool of his residence. Moscow later said he had died of a heart attack.

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A Call For Civil Uprising in Sudan

FRIDAY 11 MAY 2018

By Abdel Wahid al-Nur

Beloved people of Sudan, brothers and sisters, the hour of destiny is upon you. Awaken in your burning hearts the brilliant light of a new dawn of freedom that can longer be denied to you and seize the liberation that is your God-given right with your own two hands. The time has come for you to act, to rise up, united, as one and overthrow the dictatorship that has kept our nation imprisoned in fear, poverty and oppression for nearly thirty years. We have had enough of the misery and hopelessness the regime has fed us, while they, the corrupt, privileged few whom rule over us with impunity, have grown fat on all they steal from us, when we have been denied the prosperity and opportunity we long for, working countless hours to exhaustion for wages that do not allow us to live in dignity and we are then told to be content with a miserable crust of bread.

Now there isn’t even enough bread and too many of us are hungry. And look at the corpulent tyrant, Omar al Bashir, does he look like he ever skipped a meal? How many babies that die of malnutrition could be fed from what he feasts on at his table every day, where the tears of every mother who loses a child to hunger, poverty and lack of medical care, never diminish his appetite? Now let him taste the bitter flavour of your righteous anger, not the delicacies on his plate while you eat nothing and see if he will be able to digest it. Let your empty stomachs punish him. And why should we or our children go hungry when Bashir has stolen nine billion dollars from the nation for himself and hidden it in foreign bank accounts? He has taken what does not belong to him, he has taken food out of your mouths and it makes him the greatest robber in Sudanese history.

The dictatorship must face the justice of the people. Sudan is not destined to remain impoverished, stagnating and hungry. The genius and creativity of its hard working people and all the natural resources Sudan enjoys, from the waters of the Nile to our rich soil, our petroleum and mineral wealth, even the sun over our heads and many other riches, can chart an entirely different future for our nation, if that nation is at last, truly in the hands of the people and responsive to their will, in a transparent democracy and the just, free, society we yearn for, where no man or woman will be regarded as worth less than any other, regardless of the color of their skin, faith, class, tribe or gender. Either we are all Sudanese and one nation and Sudan is for all Sudanese or we are nothing.

But our history and the many glories of our illustrious past shows us eloquently that we were always destined for greatness, that we were meant to be a mighty nation and so we shall be again. We who were once Pharaohs and no less than the children of Moses, were not meant to live as prisoners of the thieves, liars and killers that rape our nation and keep it on its knees, abusing us just as colonialism ravaged us but even worse so because they consciously perpetrate their crimes against their own people. So now we must stand up to the enemy within and cast them off, where our refusal to submit any further to their subjugation will ensure their doom. They are a plague of locusts consuming the lifeblood of the people, but our united voice, roaring the cry of freedom, a sound so powerful they cannot silence it any longer, will scatter them to oblivion.

Our patience is at an end because we recognize what the outside world and the regime itself does not recognize, that Omar al Bashir like all of his henchmen is a dead man walking, that the blood-stained and dishonourable page turning in history he has written is in its final chapter. We must help him finish writing his epilogue, where he will come to the same end all the butchers and betrayers of their own people always meet. In this, we must keep faith in the certain knowledge that evil and greed never triumph forever. In the end, all dictatorship always collapses and always for the same reason, because an oppressed people will not withstand their humiliation indefinitely. We have reached the same defining moment that determines we cannot and will no longer submit to the endless injustice we endure.

He will call us traitors, but he is the greatest traitor of them all, to his own people, to God, to all that is decent in humanity and he dares to pretend he is a father to his nation? Let us recognize that like a cornered, wounded, wild animal, his increasing brutality towards us, is not a sign of strength, but instead of weakness, where he hopes against hope, that by trying to crush the people, he shall break their spirit and silence their yearning for freedom. He will not and he gravely underestimates the courage of the people whom will no longer suffer in silence.

Thus summon your courage noble people of Sudan. In every city, in every town, in every village, make your voices heard as never before. Refuse to cooperate with your own oppression. Stand tall. Resist! Shout your demand for change with all your might. Resist! Paralyze the dictatorship. Resist! Refuse to work. Resist! Go on strike. Resist! Immobilize the infrastructure of the criminal state and boycott a government that has already ceased to function and no longer has a legitimate hold over you. Resist! Flood the streets in your millions in a sea of angry humanity demanding change. Resist! Let the dictator, his servants and his thugs know that they are finished, that it is the end for them and you will no longer let them imprison your mind, your body or your future or your nation. Resist! Do so at the very gates of the Presidential Palace. Resist! Let Omar al Bashir know you do not fear him any longer and that instead, he should fear you for all he has made you suffer. Resist! You have nothing to lose except the chains that keep you in bondage.

Mighty people of Sudan, take back your nation, take back your future, rally far and wide across the country and send the dictatorship to hell where it belongs. Resist with all your heart, with every breath, with every ounce of your courage and strength of character, with the certainty of the righteousness of your cause, of your plea for justice that is the battle cry upon your lips. It is in your hands if you will rise to meet your destiny. Freedom is never gifted, it must be taken and that day has come. We will no longer accept a living death as the national condition. There is no alternative, there is no negotiation possible with a regime that only speaks falsehoods and empty promises, and answers only by trampling upon us. There is only one path to freedom now. See the road to liberation clearly, that despite all the sacrifices that we must still bear, a national uprising is our only dignified course of action to emerge from the long dark night that has held our nation captive. Fight for the light! Strike now and all of us together will overcome our oppression, for as a prophet of freedom once said:“all the armies of the world cannot defeat an idea whose time has come.” Our time has come. We will not be defeated if we stand together. Arise Sudan! Awaken Sudan! Resist my Brothers and Sisters and take your freedom! God is with you and future generations will remember you as the heroes that you are and will become.

The author is the Chairman Sudan Liberation Movement & Commander in Chief Sudan Liberation Army

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Sudan woman who killed husband over alleged rape given death

CAIRO — May 10, 2018, 12:46 PM ET

A young Sudanese woman convicted of killing her husband while she claims he was raping her was sentenced to death on Thursday, one of her lawyers said, underscoring rampant human rights abuses in the African country that the West is increasingly courting for business and security interests.

Noura Hussein, 19, was forced into marriage by her parents three years ago and had initially fled her husband, refusing to consummate the marriage, lawyer Ahmed Sebair said by telephone.

The husband returned with relatives who held Hussein down while he raped her, the lawyer said. When the two were alone the next day and he attempted to rape her again, she managed to grab a knife he had used to threaten her and stabbed him to death with it. That was May 3 last year and Hussein has been in prison since.

Supporters of Hussein flocked to the Criminal Court in Omdurman, Sudan’s second-largest city, in protest during the trial. Vastly rural Sudan neither outlaws child marriage nor has laws penalizing marital rape.

The case became an internet sensation under the hashtag #JusticeForNoura, with people sending photos from around the world in her support.

Witnesses who attended the proceedings posted online that Hussein’s family had abandoned her and she appeared alone during Thursday’s sentencing for her earlier murder conviction. They say that people who had gathered outside the courthouse with anti-death penalty signs were beaten by state security troops, notorious for abuse in Sudan’s police state.

Sudan is run by longtime autocrat President Omar al-Bashir, who the International Criminal Court has accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur during fighting since 2003.

Sebair says he and Hussein’s other lawyers are now appealing the death-by-hanging sentence that Hussein faces.

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Marxism remains inspiring model in Sudan: expert, official

KHARTOUM, May 4 (Xinhua) — Marxism remains an inspiring model in Sudan and the bicentennial birth anniversary of Karl Marx injects more enthusiasm to the principles of the Marxist theory, Sudanese expert and official have said.

Marxism originated from the works of 1800s German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. May 5, 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx.

“Marxism has proved its ability to be an inspiring model as it is the case in China,” said Fath Al-Alaim Saleh, a researcher in the socialist experiences in Sudan.

“The ruling party in China has managed to integrate the basic principles of Marxism into the contemporary reality of China and made use of the experiences of other civilizations to develop Marxism,” he noted.

The Chinese model undoubtedly proves that Marxism stands on a solid scientific and practical base and is able to survive with all its powers despite all changes and developments, he added.

Kamal Karrar, a leading figure in the Sudanese Communist Party, told Xinhua recently that “this anniversary gives more enthusiasm to inspire the principles of the Marxist theory.”

Marx, born in Trier on May 5, 1818, was a German philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist. He died on March 14, 1883 in London.

Karrar said Marxism is a guide to rid the world of unipolarity, and “there is still hope that the Marxist theory will rid the world of war, famine, tyranny of regimes and violation of the rights of the poor.”

He said that this anniversary comes at a time when the world is more in need to implement the principles of the Marxist theory, adding Marxism embodies the antidote for many of the world’s ailments, such as wealth concentration in a small category of society.

The Sudanese society needs the ideas and principles of the Marxist theory to achieve equal distribution of wealth and power and restore the rights of workers and working classes.

“Many of the Marxist theory’s ideas have found their way to the Sudanese people due to the efforts by the leaders of the Sudanese Communist Party, some intellectuals, activists and revolutionaries,” he said.

“The Sudanese society is suffering from social injustice, and I believe the solution is to recall and apply the principles of the Marxist theory for a more prosperous life for the Sudanese people,” he added.

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Sudan closes diplomatic missions in deep spending cuts

4 May 2018

Sudan President Omar Al Bashir. Link to image.

Khartoum – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the closure of 13 diplomatic missions and most of Sudan’s trade offices abroad, the state news agency reported late on Wednesday, in a bid to cut government spending amid serious economic woes.

Sudan has been largely cut off from international financing in the past decades by U.S. sanctions. These were lifted in October but since then Sudan has struggled to attract investors to help prop up its flagging economy.

Last month Bashir sacked Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, one day after he asked parliament to step in and help Sudanese diplomats who had not been paid their salaries in seven months.

In his decree issued on Wednesday Bashir ordered the foreign ministry to implement a “foreign representation restructuring plan”.

It did not identify the missions that are due to close but also includes cutting staff at seven missions down to just the ambassadors, SUNA reported.

Sudan will also shut all its trade and economic offices abroad, apart from the one in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi, which was kept open to finalise arrangements for Sudan’s participation at Dubai’s Expo 2020, SUNA said.

Administrative staff would be cut by 20 percent, in addition to a previous decision to cut staff by 30 percent, the agency said. The decree also dismissed administrative staff at the foreign ministry and diplomats were instructed to handle administrative duties.

Sudan devalued its currency earlier this year in a bid lure back foreign investors. Since then the pound has plummeted to about 35 to the U.S. dollar and inflation has jumped to over 50 percent.

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Sudan Comes in From the Cold

2 May 2018

Sudan has long been known primarily as the base for Osama bin Laden and his then fledgling Al Qaeda terrorist organization from 1991-1996. As a consequence of that, as well as its alignment with Iran and Iran-supported armed factions such as Hamas and Hezbollah, Sudan was placed on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism (‘terrorism list’) in 1993. In subsequent years, its brutal repression of rebels in the Darfur region earned it a comprehensive U.S. trade embargo in 1997 and an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for Sudan’s leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on charges of genocide and war crimes. In August 1998, the United States launched strikes on the suspected Al Qaeda-linked Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, with simultaneous strikes on suspected Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

Over the past few years, Sudan has undertaken significant policy shifts and political realignments. U.S. officials have recently maintained Sudan to be a cooperative partner of the United States on counterterrorism and that the country has ceased tolerating or assisting terrorist organizations—including Hamas—within its borders. In large part because of its counterterrorism cooperation, most U.S. sanctions on Sudan, including the U.S.-Sudan trade embargo, were permanently lifted in October 2017. It appears that the Trump Administration is also laying the groundwork to remove Sudan from the terrorism list in the near future, a move that would leave only Syria, Iran, and North Korea as listed states.

The recent U.S. praise for Sudan also flows from Sudan’s geopolitical shift away from Iran and toward the U.S.-allied Persian Gulf states. From 1993 until 2013, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Qods Force (IRGC-QF) helped develop Sudanese pro-government militia forces and Iranian pilots assisted Sudan’s air force. Iran used Sudan as a transshipment point to arm Hamas militia forces in the Gaza Strip, which attracted occasional Israeli airstrikes on Iran-linked targets inside Sudan. However, Iran’s isolation, as well as offers of investment in Sudan by the Sunni-led Gulf states, caused Sudan to reconsider its alliance with Iran. In late 2014, Sudan closed all Iranian cultural centers and expelled Iranian diplomats on the grounds that Iran was using its presence in Sudan to promote Shi’a Islam. In March 2015, Sudan completed the realignment by joining the Saudi-led Arab coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, including deploying several hundred fighters to Yemen in that effort. In early 2016, Sudan broke diplomatic relations with Iran in sympathy with a Saudi-Iran dispute over the Saudi execution of Shi’a dissident cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

Sudan’s counterterrorism cooperation and strategic realignment has caused the international community to largely overlook the Sudanese government’s human rights abuses, including its brutal repression of rebels in the Darfur region. President Bashir has been able to attend summit meetings in Africa, as well in Iraq, Russia, and other countries, despite the 2009 and 2010 ICC warrants for his arrest for genocide and war crimes in Darfur. And, various European countries reportedly have downplayed the abysmal record of Sudanese security forces to work with them to prevent the movement of migrants from East Africa to Europe.

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Sudan has no strategic reserve of fuel: minister

3 May 2018

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(KHARTOUM) – A senior official at the Ministry of Oil said Sudan has run out of strategic reserves of fuel due to lack of foreign exchange.

Since April, Sudan suffered an acute countrywide shortage of gasoline and diesel. The shortage comes as the economy continues to suffer from surging inflation and lack of foreign currency.

The State Minister of Oil Saad al-Din Bushra warned the government against failure to provide foreign currency to import petroleum products.

Speaking before the parliament on Wednesday, Bushra said the current fuel crisis would be resolved within 4 to 5 days, pointing however it would return again if the government failed to provide the necessary foreign exchange.

The minister accused unnamed government organs of making wrong interventions that lead to the creation of gasoline black market.

He pointed out that the government has run out of the petroleum strategic reserve, saying if fuel storages were filled fully, it wouldn’t meet the country’s needs for one month.

Bushra added his ministry seeks to import oil through deferred payment method in order to resolve the fuel crisis.

He said Sudan consumes 8800 metric tones of gasoline and 3600 metric tones of benzene, pointing that Khartoum refinery produces only 2650 metric tones which covers 75 percent of the total consumption.

The minister said 122,622 metric tones of petroleum products have been secured for the agricultural purposes, saying the Khartoum refinery is still on the trial run following the recent maintenance work and will resume production within 7 to 10 days.

He pointed out that the maintenance work at Khartoum refinery should have been carried out since 2916 but the government failed to provide $102 million for that purpose.

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Sudan assessing troop deployment in Yemen: minister

2018-05-02

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Sudan said on Wednesday it is assessing its deployment of troops within a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen, amid calls to withdraw the forces after a rebel ambush reportedly killed dozens of soldiers.

“These days we are doing a study and an assessment of our troops’ participation in Yemen,” Sudanese Minister of State for Defence Ali Salim told reporters.

“This assessment will look into the positives and negatives of our participation.”

A decision on Sudan’s troop deployment would be made once the review is completed, he said.

“The decision will take into consideration our country’s interests and stability,” Salim said, adding it would also consider Khartoum’s international commitments.

President Omar al-Bashir deployed Sudanese troops to Yemen in 2015 as part of a major foreign policy shift that saw Khartoum break its decades-old ties with Shiite Iran and join the Saudi-led coalition.

Hundreds of Sudanese soldiers and officers are fighting in Yemen, and have often suffered casualties.

An ambush in April by Shiite Huthi rebels reportedly killed dozens of Sudanese soldiers in northern Yemen. The insurgents claimed the attack on their Al-Masirah website.

The losses are reported to be some of the heaviest suffered by Sudan since its troops were deployed.

Khartoum has neither confirmed nor denied the attack.

Photographs posted to social media allegedly of soldiers killed in the ambush sparked calls for a withdrawal.

Several opposition leaders and analysts have questioned Bashir’s decision to join the Saudi-led coalition.

Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, has said the move to join the Saudi-led coalition was “ideological”.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 on behalf of the internationally recognised government to roll back the Iran-allied Huthis, who had seized control of much of the country including Sanaa.

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U.S. removes restrictions on bank deals with Sudan

  

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The U.S. government has removed restrictions on banking deals with Sudan after lifting sanctions.

The remark was made by U.S. Assistant Secretary of Treasury Marshall Billings lea who is visiting Sudan as part of a U.S. Congress delegation.

Mr Billingslea, who held talks with a number of Sudanese officials in Khartoum on Sunday, promised to restore relations of the American banks with the Sudanese banks.

He urged in a statement the Sudanese government to make further progress in human rights and build normal ties with the United States.

He said Sudan has achieved progress in the five-track plan in accordance with which the economic sanctions were lifted, noting that the U.S. congress is looking forward to removing Sudan’s name from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.

On October 6, 2017, the U.S. decided to lift its economic sanctions on Sudan permanently, citing Sudan’s “sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism.”

However, Sudan still remains on the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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Former Sudanese ‘Lost Boy’ Helps Other Refugees

April 29, 2018

A cup of coffee is a good way for many people to start their day. But, it can also do much greater good.

Manyang Kher is a former Sudanese child refugee. When he was three years old, his village was attacked and burned during his country’s civil war in the 1980s.

He was separated from his parents. He never saw them again.

Kher is one of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan – one of 20,000 young Sudanese who escaped from their villages and made the 1,600-kilometer walk to Ethiopia.

Kher lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia’s Gambella region for 13 years.

When he was 16, Kher came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor refugee. While he was in college in the American state of Virginia, he started Humanity Helping Sudan to raise awareness of the refugees.

Today, Kher is an American citizen. He is owner and founder of a coffee company called 734. It is part of his larger Humanity Helping Sudan project.

The coffee company’s name is meaningful. It comes from the geographical coordinates of the Gambella area: 7 degrees north and 34 degrees east.

The company helps the more than 200,000 refugees living in the Gambella area.

Kher said, “I know the struggle those refugees face every day. You see kids die from hunger because they don’t have enough food. You see kids dying of cholera. You see kids dying of a disease. You see kids just running away from the refugee camp, just want to go to a place to be home but they die there on the way.”

Eighty percent of Kher’s profits from 734 coffee goes toward the refugees. Profits go toward buying school supplies and sending more of the children to school.

And, as Kher explains, the money helps “refugees help themselves.”

A cup of 734 coffee, for example, can also buy one fishing net for a refugee. This helps them become self-sufficient, Kher explains.

“That’s why we give fishing nets because they can go to river and fish for themselves. If you build more community gardens they can grow their own food.”

Kher operates 734 Coffee from two warehouses in Virginia. But the coffee beans come from African owned and operated farms in Gambella. The beans are roasted by local coffee roasters in the U.S.

Kher sells the coffee online, at events and to coffee stores.

Megan Murphy owns a bakery near Washington, D.C. She serves 734 Coffee to her customers.

“The customers love it,” she says. “Whenever they find out about the project, about the mission, they connect right with it. The coffee tastes delicious, so it’s a win-win on both sides. You get to enjoy coffee and at the same time be part of the bigger project.”

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